The new healthcare recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO)* released last week suggests that we should avoid the usage of non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) while trying to lose weight.
The guideline is based on a study about the effects of consuming NSS during weight management. The study suggests that the non-sugar sweeteners (NSS) available in the market do not have any long-term health benefits. Instead, they can be dangerous to your health.
As per the study, adding NSS to your diet can lead to health complications like cardiovascular diseases, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and mortality in adults.
Many people consume NSS to control or reduce free sugar in their diet. As per the study, this is not advisable. The study further suggests that instead of adding NSS to your diet, you should add naturally sweet food to your diet, such as fruits which are a natural source of glucose.
NSS is not a good option to replace free sugar as they have zero nutritional value. It is suggested that you should reduce your sugar intake altogether. This helps in preventing the occurrence of many diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney damage. Restricting sugar intake early in life is better to avoid any medical complications later.
The study recommends stopping the usage of the commonly available sources of NSS like stevia, saccharin, acesulfame K, cyclamates, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. These may appear to be a go-to option as a substitute to sugar but do not fall into the trap; they are not good for health.
The recommendation does not apply to personal care and hygiene products containing NSS, such as toothpaste, skin cream, and medications, or to low-calorie sugars and sugar alcohols (polyols), which are sugars or sugar derivatives containing calories and are therefore not considered NSS as per WHO.
Thus as per this recommendation, WHO advises to restrict the consumption of Non-Sugar Sweeteners because of the direct link between development of diseases and consumption of sugar free products.
To sum up, it is advisable to avoid sugar free products due their zero nutritional value and reduce the risk of diseases.
The WHO guideline on NSS is part of existing and forthcoming guidelines on healthy diets that aim to establish lifelong healthy eating habits, improve dietary quality, and decrease the risk of NCDs worldwide.